'Nebraska's' Stacy Keach is busy in any genre
By Susan King, Los Angeles Times/MCTLOS ANGELES, -- Stacy Keach's dance card is quite full these days.
October 27, 2013, 12:01 am TWN
“I have done four sitcoms in five weeks!” said the 72-year-old actor, who first demonstrated his comedic chops as Cheech and Chong's nemesis Sgt. Stedenko in the 1978 stoner comedy “Up in Smoke.”
Just last week, he appeared in the L.A. Theatre Works production of Chekhov's “Uncle Vanya” at UCLA, and on Sunday he'll be narrating Edgar Allan Poe's “The Tell-Tale Heart” at the “EEK! At the Greek” Halloween concert with the Symphony in the Glen Orchestra.
Keach brought poignancy to his role as a veteran plane named Skipper in “Planes,” Disney's animated hit — he'll be back for the sequel — and he has a showy supporting role as the boorish former business partner of Woody (Bruce Dern), an elderly man who believes he's won US$1 million in a sweepstakes, in Alexander Payne's “Nebraska,” opening Nov. 22.
“I'm sort of the bad guy,” Keach said with a smile during a recent interview at his publicist's office in Beverly Hills.
The actor's schedule is already mapped out for the next several months. He is about to fly to Vancouver, Canada, to start a movie, and come spring, he'll play Shakespeare's larger-than-life rapscallion Falstaff in “Henry IV, Parts I and II” in Washington, D.C.
“Falstaff — oh, I love him,” extolled Keach, whom the New York Times once described as “the finest American classical actor since John Barrymore” because of his memorable portrayals in Edmond Rostand's “Cyrano de Bergerac” and Shakespeare's “Hamlet,” “King Lear,” “Macbeth” and “Richard III.”